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Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Women Without Men, an adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur's magic realist novel, is Iranian artist Shirin Neshat's first feature length film. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d'├ętat brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power. (IndiePix Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Stronger on beautiful imagery than on narrative flow.
  2. With its intense chiaroscuro and meticulous manipulation of color that ranges from stark black and white to richer, shifting hues in scenes set in a metaphorical orchard, the film surpasses even Michael Haneke's "White Ribbon" in the fierce beauty and precision of its cinematography (by Martin Gschlacht).
  3. 80
    Neshat employs dialogue that is often didactic, but that weakness is forgiven in the face of stellar acting from the ensemble and gorgeously composed and shot images.
  4. 70
    Shirin Neshat, best known for her video installations, makes her feature directing debut with this elegant, often moving story of four Iranian women trapped by their circumstances in the turmoil preceding the 1953 coup.
  5. 70
    A powerful and provocative look at the seismology of the Iranian social order and the connective tissue that sustains Iranian women in particular.
  6. Has compelling stretches, but the film's formal concerns overwhelm the storytelling.
  7. An eerie resurrection regains some good will, but we'll have to wait for Neshat to catch up with the art of storytelling.

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